Dutch Muslims organize charity donation

An initiative organizing the donation of meat from the Eid al-Adha festival is gaining populatity in the Netherlands. The Joint Muslim Aid Organization (SMHO) collects meat during the festival and distributes it to the needy in the Netherlands.

During the festival of Eid al-Adha, which commemorates the willingness of the prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his son Isaac to God, Muslims sacrifice sheep. Donating the meat to the poor is a longstanding custom, but Veyiz Gungor of the SMHO tells Radio Netherlands Worldwide that it has taken Dutch Muslims “a long time to wake up to the fact that there are poor people in the Netherlands”.

Started four years ago, the initiative is Turkish, but increasing numbers of non-Turkish Muslims are participating. “It is easy to communicate… through the Turkish mosques. But in the past years, more and more Surinamese, Moroccan and Indonesian Muslims call us to ask where they can bring their meat”, says Gungor.

Cordaid, a Catholic organization, helped collect almost 3,400kg of meat which will be processed into sausages for distribution to food banks and restaurants for the homeless nationwide.